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Early Intervention Resources

Always call Early Intervention if you have a concern for a child ages birth to 5 years.

  • CONNECT Helpline: 1-800-692-7288
  • In the vast majority of cases, early intervention does not need a medical diagnosis to start providing the needed therapies

Early Intervention Evaluation consists of evaluating 5 areas of development.

  • Speech/Language Skills
    • Receptive language
      • Understanding “no”
      • Following a one-step direction
      • Following multi-step directions
      • Expressive Language
        • Using gestures (pointing, waving)
        • Single words
        • Combining words
        • Using pronouns
  • Cognitive Skills
    • Looking for a hidden object
    • Completing an inset puzzle
    • Matching objects, colors, or shapes
  • Adaptive Skills
    • Feeding self (using fingers, utensils)
    • Dressing and undressing
    • Helping out around the house
    • Understanding safety rules
    • Early Intervention Evaluation
  • Social/Emotional Skills
    • Smiles at others
    • Greets familiar adults
    • Shows interest in other children
    • Play skills
    • Identifying emotions
    • Self-soothing
  • Motor Skills
    • Fine Motor
      • Picks up and transfers objects
      • Marks on paper with a crayon
      • Puts beads on a string
      • Stacks blocks
      • Gross Motor
        • Rolling over
        • Crawling
        • Walking
        • Running
  • A child qualifies for early intervention if:
    • A 25% delay in one or more areas of development
    • Diagnosed vision or hearing loss
      • Has a known medical condition which has a high-probability for developmental delay (examples: history of prematurity, Down Syndrome)

Behavioral Resources

Wraparound services

  • Also referred to as Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services (BHRS)
  • For children under 21
  • A service designed for children who have autism, or other serious emotional or behavioral problems
  • These services can be used in the home, school, and community
  • Services are individualized to meet the specific needs of the child

A team of trained professionals will work with caregivers to help improve the child’s behavior.

  • BSC (Behavior Specialist Consultant): works directly with families to develop an individualized treatment plan. They provide behavioral consultation to the family/school/community program
  • MT (Mobile Therapist): will develop and implement therapeutic interventions
  • TSS (Therapeutic Staff Support): works directly with the child. Implements behavior interventions as specified in the treatment plan

How to get services:

Step 1

  • Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), even if you think you won’t be eligible.
  • At the same time, apply for medical assistance if you don’t already have it. Wraparound services are paid for by medical assistance.
  • At the same time, ask for an evaluation for wraparound services.

- Contact the Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization (MCO) in your county.
- You will be given a list of providers in your area who can do the evaluation.

Step 2

  • After the wraparound evaluation, you will get a report stating whether or not the child qualifies for services.
  • If your child qualifies for services, your MCO will give you a list of providers in your area.


  • Call multiple wraparound providers in your area early and often. See if there is a waiting list, availability of staff in your area, etc.
  • Wrapround services are approved for a certain period of time (varies among providers). Reauthorization of services can occur every 4, 6, or 12 months depending on the provider.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

What is ABA?

  • ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Uses a scientific, data-driven approach to increase communication, social skills, and functional behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or hinder learning.
  • ABA services may include but are not limited to: conducting behavioral assessments, analyzing data, writing behavior treatment plans, and implementing treatment plans.

Why get ABA?

  • ABA is a researched-supported behavioral intervention for autism.
  • ABA is effective for many different kinds of learners. Its effectiveness is not limited to autism.

Who provides ABA?

  • ABA programs are often implemented and/or supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
  • ABA strategies are often used by teachers, psychologists, and members of other professions.

Where does ABA take place?

  • ABA services are often based in the home, school, and community.
  • Some ABA programs may also be center-based.

When should I start services?

  • ABA works for individuals of all ages. For children, it is recommended to start as early as possible.

How do I get ABA services?

  • ABA services can be covered under private insurance with an autism diagnosis. ABA services can also be funded through private pay. ABA services, provided by wraparound agencies, may also be covered with a Medicaid product.
  • Contact your insurance company to check eligibility and coverage of ABA services under ACT 62.
  • Ask your insurance company about any specific documentation requirements, as these vary by insurer.
  • Contact a local ABA provider.
  • Find a list of providers on ABA in PA website:

Speech/Language Resources

American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
Caroline Bowen, PhD
Augmentative & Alternative Communication:
Signing Time

  • Streaming videos, DVDs to teach sign language to young kids

PrAACtical AAC

  • Tips to improve communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties


  • Educational webcasts and videos, including those demonstrating techniques for improving literacy and communication

Assistive Technology Resource Centers:

Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)

  • Must be accessed by child’s early intervention or school team on behalf of student

iPad to Support Communication:
Jane Farrall AAC Apps List

  • Includes price, features, rating system

iPad Pinterest Site by Lauren Enders, SLP

  • Apps, cases, accessories aimed at children with disabilities

Community Resources

Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
ASERT is a statewide initiative funded by the Bureau of Autism Services, PA Department of Human Services. The ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) Collaborative is a key component of the Bureau of Autism’s strategy for supporting individuals with autism and their families throughout the Commonwealth. The ASERT mission is to enhance the lives of Pennsylvanians with autism of all ages and abilities by:

  • Improving regional access to quality services and interventions
  • Providing information and support to families
  • Training professionals in best practices
  • Facilitating connections between individuals, families, professionals, and providers throughout the Commonwealth

Visit the website to:

  • Get tips on finding the best supports for yourself, your family member, or the individuals you work with.
  • Connect with other individuals with autism and their families.
  • Or call their Toll-Free Number (877) 231-4244 and one of their staff members will speak with you about how to identify and get information and resources in your region.

Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania
Parents and Family members of children & adults with disabilities or special needs may be matched with another parent for the following conditions or concerns:
–      Physical disabilities
–      Developmental disabilities
–      Special health care needs
–      Behavioral/mental health concerns
–      Educational issues
The Arc of Pennsylvania
The Arc is the largest advocacy organization in the United States for citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.

The Arc of Pennsylvania pursues its mission of promoting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes through:
                Public Policy Advocacy 
                Family Education
                Public Awareness
                Community Resources

Most counties in Central Pa have an Arc Chapter.   

Selinsgrove Area Parent Support Group

32 Quarry Rd.
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
570 374 0160
Contact Name: Stacey & Mike Piecuch
Contact Email:

Lycoming County Support Group

221 South Main Street
Muncy, PA 17756
570 546 7370
Contact Name: Marianne Tillotson
Contact Email:

Nittany R.O.A.R.

364 Norle St.
State College, PA 16801
814 441 1843
Contact Name: Nicole Feaster
Contact Email:
Pennsylvania Special Kids Network

The Special Kids Network (SKN), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Elks Home Service Program, helps children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities get the services and support they require in order to thrive in their community and develop to their full potential.

The Special Kids Network contains three components:

  • a toll-free helpline for information and resources
  • in-home service coordination provided at no cost to families; and 
  • a system of community and regional support